From the restoration of Roland Park’s historic trolley stop to the conversion of City Garage into 60,000 square feet of funky makerspace, our 2016 historic preservation awards showcase the best historic preservation projects of the year and the people behind them. Please join us on June 16 at Baltimore’s Green Street Academy to mix, mingle, and be inspired by the great work happening in the city!
Over the next two months, we’ve also lined up a number of fantastic tours. On June 22, our tour of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church tells the story of the evolution of this 175-year-old institution and its deep commitment to charitable work. On June 26, our Florence Meets Baltimore by Bike tour will transport you to the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, the Tempio Maggiore, the Ospedalia Deli Innocenti, the Carrara quarries, and take in frozen deserts along the way… all without leaving Baltimore.
In July, we have a special treat: the chance to climb to the top of the scaffolding now filling the interior of the Parkway Theater for an up-close view of the ceiling and a great opportunity to learn what’s going on as the Maryland Film Festival restores this 1915 movie house.
Finally, don’t forget that this Sunday, and almost every Sunday until Thanksgiving, our volunteer-led Monumental City Tours will take you on one-hour jaunts to learn more about Baltimore: Jonestown and the Shot Tower, Landmarks and Lions Downtown, Mount Vernon and the Washington Monument, and the Patterson Park Observatory.
Three significant historic buildings are up for auction next month as part of the new One House at a Time Select Auction—the Sellers Mansion at Lafayette Square, the Emerson Mansion in Reservoir Hill and the former Odell’s Restaurant on North Avenue. In contrast to the rowhouses usually listed in One House at a Time’s bi-monthly property auctions, these buildings are much larger and better suited to a multifamily, mixed-use, or commercial use. Minimum bids for all three buildings are set at $10,000. The application asks interested bidders to explain their experience with the rehabilitation of vacant multifamily, mixed use, or commercial properties, show their ability to finance the development, and be in good standing as a property owner in Baltimore. To avoid the continued neglect, buyers are also expected to abate the vacant building notice within one year after settlement.
Learn more about these buildings and help us spread the word to help make sure that these properties are developed and preserved.
Sellers Mansion – 801 N. Arlington Avenue
Built in 1868, the Sellers Mansion (801 North Arlington Street) is a three-story Second Empire brick house with a mansard roof that rivaled its outer suburban contemporaries in size, quality of craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
The grand Emerson Mansion was built in 1895 by Captain Isaac Edward Emerson at 2500 Eutaw Place. Over the past twenty years, the condition of the building has deteriorated from bad to worse as broken windows have left the interior open to the weather and copper architectural elements have been stolen.
Former Odell’s Restaurant and Bar – 21 E. North Avenue
Odell Brock opened Odell’s Restaurant and Bar at this former automobile showroom on North Avenue in 1976. Brock passed away in 1985 but the club continued to operate until it closed in 1992. According to the Sun, Odell’s was “revered by some as the heart of house and dance music in Baltimore in the 80s.”
Our upcoming Baltimore Heritage tours will show you the bright future of a historic mill, and let you experience a hidden Baltimore treasure. Later this month, we’re stepping into the middle of construction on our tour of Whitehall Mill. This former textile mill is being reborn as a mixed-use complex of apartments, office space, a restaurant, and a market. Please join us and our hosts from Terra Nova Ventures on a walk through the building, showing the progress they’ve made so far and what work is still to come.
On March 19, please join us at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where you can experience the rare treat of standing in the middle of a room and almost everything you see is made or decorated by Tiffany. Please join our host, Reverend Dale Dusman, for a tour and a bit of Tiffany overload at this hidden Baltimore gem.
Unfortunately, due to predictions for extreme cold this weekend, we have decided to reschedule our Mount Vernon Love Stories tour from February 13 to April 9 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. We hope to see you on our upcoming tours!
Baltimore Heritage is back at Artscape—America’s largest free arts festival—with free walking tours of historic Station North on every day of the festival! Innovation in art, design, movies and music has always had a place on North Avenue. In the 1910s, Parkway’s vaudeville stage screened some of the nation’s earliest “talking pictures.” In the 1960s, the Left Bank Jazz Society hosted jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane at Charles Street’s Famous Ballroom.
Our one-hour Station North by Foot tours explore the history of buildings from the North Avenue Market (now home to the Wind-Up Space and Liam’s Ale House) to the former Guilford Avenue factory complex of the Crown Cork & Seal Company (today used as Copycat Building and the new Baltimore Design School). Walk along with us and discover stories from the vibrant past and bright future of Station North landmarks.
Station North by Foot – Free historic walking tours at Artscape
Sign up today! Tours go rain or shine and start at the Station North Arts & Entertainment District offices, 1 West North Avenue.
Historic preservation in Station North has been in the news recently with historic tax credits awarded to the former Centre Theater in January and the announcement in December that the long-neglected Parkway Theater will be the new home for the Maryland Film Festival. We asked Charlie Duff, Executive Director of Jubilee Baltimore and the developer of the Centre Theater to share his thoughts on the exciting progress of preservation in Station North.
If you visit North Avenue during the day, you might think it hasn’t changed for years; it’s just a big rundown street. At night, however, North Avenue is starting to be a happening place, a focal point of Baltimore’s emerging Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Like Fells Point, Station North is livelier by night than by day.
Long known for the Charles Theater – and not much else – Station North is now home to several dozen restaurants, galleries, and venues for music, arts and theater. It’s busy every night and hopping on weekends, and the Station North music scene led Rolling Stone to name Baltimore the best Indie music scene in the country. But it’s not just a scene. It’s also a neighborhood and a part of Baltimore’s economy. More than 700 artists live and work in Station North right now. They’re young and vigorous, and they think Baltimore City is the greatest place on earth.
Even though Station North is Bohemian and avant garde, historic buildings are the key to the growth of Station North. Here’s a brief listing of projects that take advantage of historic buildings:
MICA Studio Center – This summer MICA completed a $20 million renovation of the former Jos. A. Bank loft building on North Avenue near Howard Street. More than 300 MICA students now have studios and take classes on North Avenue. They come and go at all hours of the day and night, and the street is richer and more vibrant because of them. And the building, a splendid loft building from the first decade of the 20th century, looks fabulous.
Baltimore Design School – Under construction now in the 300 block of East Oliver Street is the Baltimore Design School, Baltimore’s new 6-12 school for kids who might want to be architects or designers. This fabulous 1916 loft building, vacant for more than 25 years, uses $3 million in State historic credits. Go check out the amazing (and authentic) brand-new steel windows. Students arrive in September.
The North Avenue Market – Occupying the whole block of North Avenue between Charles and Maryland, the North Avenue Market is becoming beautiful and lively again. New owners are restoring its lovely 1928 façade, and new tenants are making North Avenue hum. The Windup Space, in the North Avenue Market, is the hottest ticket in artistic Baltimore, and printmakers flock here to rent amazing equipment by the hour at the Baltimore Print Studios.
10 E. North Avenue – When Jubilee Baltimore learned that one of the largest vacant buildings in Station North was going to be auctioned off, we put together a team of investors and bought the building very cheaply. Add the cheap price to the $3 million in State historic credits that we’ve just won, and 10 E. North Avenue becomes a real opportunity to create lively space for impecunious but creative people. What should happen here? After much research and millions of conversations with local artists, we are pursuing leads to create a shared use artist space with well-equipped, well-managed, code compliant work spaces of various kinds. We are also in discussions with MICA and a couple of good restaurants and arts venues.
Station North may not look like a great historic district, but it is becoming a great place. It wouldn’t be happening at all without cheap, wonderful buildings and historic tax incentives. Take a walk down North Avenue and recharge your Preservation batteries. Preservation works!
Jubilee Baltimore is a non-profit developer and neighborhood revitalization organization helping the people of Baltimore to build safe, stable, desirable, mixed-income neighborhoods through affordable housing development and neighborhood revitalization. If you are interested in highlighting a great preservation effort in your neighborhood, please get in touch!